An Olympic Celebration
by Julie Badger Jensen

The 2002 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games are finally here. As Salt Lake City welcomes the world, join in the celebration and “Light the Fire Within”. The spirit that ignites the Olympics and Olympians is contagious. Their passion, drive, patriotism, faith, sacrifice, and soul affects the world and each of us. The Olympic Games history stretches back into ancient times.

The earliest recorded Games were held in Greece at Olympia in 776 B.C. The Greeks had gathered for centuries with other nations to watch athletes compete. The initial single event, a 200-yard foot race, was gradually expanded to include wrestling, chariot racing and other track and field events.

The French educator Baron Pierre de Coubertin revived the Olympic Games in 1894. He clearly stated his vision, “Nations gather. Not for combat or debate but to celebrate the hope of peace and a shared love of competition.” Sport can break down barriers of language, nationality, culture, age and sex and build bridges between people around the world. The goal is uniting all for the improvement of humanity. The rings of the Olympic Flag symbolize five continents: Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and America.

An English neurosurgeon Sir Ludwig Guttman began the Paralympic movement. While working with ex-servicemen after World War II, he recognized the benefit of adding competition for rehabilitative sport. He wanted to provide athletes with disabilities the opportunity to compete at an international level equivalent to that of non-disabled athletes. His plan was initiated in 1948. The Paralympic Games provide friendship as they further physical and moral development. Salt Lake is the first to completely integrate the organization of both Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Celebrate the Olympics. Let spirit and creativity take you on a worldwide journey filled with variety and flare. The possibilities are endless and the rewards long lasting.

Plan a memorable occasion featuring foods from around the world and gather AROUND THE TABLE. You may wish to serve the main dish and let family and friends join in the fun by bringing foods of their ancestry or favorite destination and tell something about the country. What a grand opportunity to share and learn. Appetizers, breads, fruit platters, vegetables and desserts would all be welcome.

Flags of ancestry and missions could be featured on the table. Following the festive meal, an activity geared to your guests could begin. Young children would delight in being part of a “March of Nations.” Small flags of countries could be purchased at novelty or party shops or made by coloring or painting paper flags. These may be prepared in advance and mounted on wooden dowels, or “Olympic torches” could be made for each child. Shiny silver cardboard can be formed into cone shapes about 8″ high and chews or candy placed inside. Yellow and orange tissue paper coming out the top resembles the flame.

Children could march to Olympic, patriotic, or classical marching music as flags wave or torches are held high.

An inspirational story of an Olympic hero could follow and then a song. The Primary favorite of Children All Over the World would be a fun choice. Wearing hats, scarves or accessories from different nations adds to the excitement.

Then let the “games” begin . . . depending on ages and interests. If children are young they will be thrilled with individual or team contests of jumping, hopping, running and throwing . . . with everyone a winner. Ribbons with medals can be found at party or craft stores and be awarded following the “games” as music is played and photos taken.

Teens can plan their own activities, which could include individual and team games or sleigh riding, ice skating or skiing.

Share in the amazing Olympic spirit and “Light the Fire Within.” Seize the opportunity to promote world understanding, unity and peace.

SWISS: CRAB ROUNDS

You’ll love this appetizer

1 / 2 cup fresh crab meat or small can crab, drained and flaked

1 cup Swiss cheese, grated

1 / 2 cup mayonnaise

2 Tbs. green onion, chopped

1 Tbs. lemon juice

1 / 4 tsp. curry powder

1 / 3 cup water chestnuts, sliced

1 / 4 cup chopped parsley

1 can buttermilk biscuits (Hungry Jack brand work well)

Combine crab, Swiss cheese, mayonnaise, green onion, lemon juice and curry powder. Separate layers of biscuits to get 32 rounds; place on greased baking sheet. Spread crab mix on top of biscuits. Top with sliced water chestnuts. Sprinkle with parsley. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

GERMAN: COCKTAIL REUBENS

Adventuresome and good

36 slices party rye bread

Thousand Island salad dressing

1 4-oz. package thinly sliced cooked corn beef

1 8-oz. can (1 cup) sauerkraut, drained and snipped

6 slices (6 ounces) process Swiss cheese

Spread each slice of rye bread with a little of the salad dressing. Top with a thin slice of corned beef; cover with a teaspoon of sauerkraut. Cut each slice of cheese into 6 pieces; top appetizers. Place on baking sheet; bake in 400-degree oven for 6 to 8 minutes or until cheese melts and appetizers are heated through. Makes 36 appetizers.

SOUTH AFRICAN: CURRIED BEEF

Unusual and delicious

A main dish with flare

2 Tbs. olive oil

2 lbs. beef stew meat

1 large onion, chopped

1 medium tomato, skinned & cut up

1 can beef consomm soup, undiluted

1 to 2 Tbs. curry powder

Salt to taste

1 / 4 cup ketchup

Brown the beef in olive oil. Cover with water. Add other ingredients. Simmer until meat is tender, about 1 1 / 2 hours. Add curry powder. Thicken with mixture of flour and water to make gravy. Add ketchup. Serve over hot rice. You can make this recipe ahead and reheat slowly.

Top with condiments such as cubed bananas, raisins, coconut, peanuts, chopped onion, and cubed tomato.

Chutney Sauce

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup apricot preserves

1 / 4 cup Worcestershire sauce

Warm the above ingredients while stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Serve over curried beef. This sauce may be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator. Also good over ham.

CHINESE: SWEET AND SOUR PORK

Tangy main dish

1 1 / 2 lbs. lean pork

4 Tbs. olive oil

1 / 2 cup water

4 Tbs. cornstarch

1 tsp. salt

1 / 2 cup brown sugar

1 / 2 cup vinegar

2 cups pineapple juice

2 Tbs. soy sauce

3 / 4 cup green peppers, cut in strips

1 1 / 4 cup onion, thinly sliced

1 can pineapple chunks

Brown pork in 2 Tbs. olive oil. Add water and cover. Simmer for 1 hour. Combine cornstarch salt, brown sugar, vinegar, pineapple juice, and soy sauce. Cook until slightly thick. Pour over hot pork. Saut peppers and onion in 2 Tbs. olive oil until lightly browned and add to pork. Cook 2 to 3 minutes or longer.

MEXICAN: CHICKEN ENCHILADAS

Classic main dish

Popular with all ages

2 cups cooked chicken

2 cups sour cream

1 small can green chiles, chopped

1 cup green onion, chopped

1 / 2 tsp. salt

4 cups Monterey jack cheese, shredded

10 corn tortillas

1 (15 oz.) can mild enchilada sauce

Combine chicken, sour cream, green chiles, green onion, salt and 2 cups cheese. Dip tortillas in enchilada sauce. Spoon chicken mixture in each tortilla. Roll up and place close together in a pan. Cover with 2 cups more shredded Monterey jack cheese. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes.

AUSTRALIAN: CHEESE BLINTZES

Fantastic favorite

Filling

2 cups ricotta or dry curd cottage cheese

1 package (3 oz.) cream cheese, softened

1 / 4 cup sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

In small mixer bowl, combine ricotta cheese, cream cheese, sugar and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Cover; chill until ready to use.

Blintzes (Crepes)

3 eggs

1 cup milk

3 / 4 cup pancake mix

2 Tbs. oil

2 Tbs. butter, melted

Sour cream, as topping

Strawberries or fruit of your choice, as topping

Combine eggs, milk, pancake mix and oil; mix until smooth. Let stand 5 minutes. Lightly grease a 6 to 7-inch crepe pan or skillet; heat over medium-high heat. For each crepe, pour 2 Tbs. batter (one half of a 1 / 4 cup measure) into hot, prepared pan; immediately tilt pan to coat bottom evenly with thin layer. Cook 45 seconds or until top looks dry. Turn; continue cooking about 20 seconds. Stack crepes between sheets of wax paper.

Heat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease 13×9 inch glass baking dish with 1 tsp. melted butter. Spoon 2 rounded Tbs. filling into center of crepe. Fold 2 sides over filling; fold up ends to form a rectangle.

Place blintzes in prepared dish; brush with remaining butter. Bake 20 to 25 minutes. (Or cover tightly and refrigerate until ready to bake, or overnight. Uncover, proceed as recipe directs.)

Serve with sour cream and fresh strawberries or fruit of your choice, if desired. Makes 12 blintzes.

BRAZILIAN: FLAN

Smooth as silk dessert

1 cup Granulated Sugar (for the caramel)
1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk
Equal volume of Whole Milk (use the can to measure)
3 whole Eggs
8-inch Ring Mold

Place 1 to 2 inches of water in a roasting pan. Place the pan in the oven and pre-heat to 325-F degrees.

Place the sugar in the ring mold. Place the mold directly over medium heat. Keep turning the mold until the sugar melts into a golden brown caramel, then spoon the gooey mixture up the sides of the mold. (Take care not to burn either the sugar or yourself!) Remove from heat source and let the mold cool.

In a blender or food processor, whip the condensed milk, whole milk, and eggs together until smooth. Pour the mixture into the mold and place it in the center of the roasting pan with water surrounding it. Bake for about 1 hour or until it turns golden brown on top and starts separating from the sides of the mold. Remove the ring mold from the oven and let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for at least six hours prior to serving. Refrigerating overnight is recommended.

Just before serving, run the tip of a knife around the inside of the mold. Place a deep platter over the mold and invert. The flan should slide out easily; if not, give the mold a firm but careful shake.

GERMAN: CHERRY-CHOCOLATE TORTE

Fantastic Black Forest Dessert

1 chocolate cake mix

1 1 / 2 pints whipping cream

1 8-oz pkg. cream cheese

3 / 4 cup powdered sugar

1 1 / 2 tsp. vanilla

1 small can cherry pie filling

1 6-oz. pkg. almonds, sliced and toasted

1 can chocolate frosting

Follow cake mix directions. Bake cake in two well oiled round cake pans. Cool completely. Remove cakes from pans. Freeze for easier frosting. Whip cream and set in refrigerator. Cream the cream cheese with the powdered sugar and vanilla. Carefully fold in the cream cheese mixture and the whipped cream together. Remove cakes from freezer. Slice cake rounds in half to make four layers.

Spread layers as follows:

1st layer – cream cheese mixture and almonds

2nd layer – cream cheese mixture and half of cherries

3rd layer – cream cheese mixture and almonds

For top of cake, use large tip of cake decorator to make fancy ridge around layer or make a one-inch border by spreading chocolate frosting. Spoon remaining cherries on top. Frost sides with rest of cream cheese mixture. Decorate sides of cake with slivered almonds. Refrigerate and slice when ready to serve.

 


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